The bulldozers are all set to raze the towering ‘Jewel of Kharghar’ to the ground today. With less than a day to go before the demolition drive of tainted Kharghar high-rise Green Heritage, residents, CIDCO officials and builders put forward completely dissonant plans yesterday, each contradicting the other. While the builders claimed that they would be taking care of the illegal structures themselves to obviate CIDCO’s intervention, CIDCO officials claimed that their demolition plans remained unaltered. While residents continued to be in denial, claiming that they would not evacuate their flats.
CIDCO had pasted the eviction notice on the high-rise on Wednesday, warning residents of its impending demolition, and asking flat owners to vacate their apartments.
Having dragged their feet in the matter of demolishing their illegal structures for over six months, developers promised to raze them by themselves yesterday. Citing serious damage to all flats in the towers if CIDCO went ahead with its demolition, Abhishek Developers promised to take care of the matter themselves.
Dinesh Patel, one of the six partners of Abhishek Developers, said yesterday, “We are aware of the eviction notice sent by CIDCO and we are taking necessary action. Now, we have decided to remove the illegal constructions on our own and we are going to start this work from tomorrow. We are going to inform CIDCO, and will also consult residents of the building before removing any structure. We will ensure that no resident is affected.”
Over the months, the developer adopted many tactics to delay the demolition, repeatedly approaching the court. However, the Bombay High Court refused to regularise the illegal structure, and asked CIDCO to go ahead with the demolition in June. The developers seemed to have finally woken up to the impending demolition, and promised to get their act together and demolish their illegal structures.
They may well be a little too late. Plans at the CIDCO’s end remained unchanged. Anil Patil, chief controller of unauthorised constructions of CIDCO, said, “We have not received any response from residents or developers about the removal of illegal construction, so we are going to demolish the building tomorrow [Friday] morning.”
If CIDCO removes the illegal structures — which are spread over 1,575 sq metres — all rooms of all flats in the high-rise are going to be affected. Around 14-16 sqm area will be cut from each flat, as CIDCO will be using technical parameters, as per the rules.
“We are supposed to cut around 300 square metres each from all four wings of the building, so there will be demolition of around 14-16 square metres in each of the flats. All of the rooms in all flats will be altered with the help of a cutter. The whole flat will be affected,” said Patil. A team of around 10-12 workers will form the demolition team, and the structure will start being razed from 11 am today, informed Patil.
Cops in the loop
Policemen from Kharghar police station will be deputed near the building, in order to control possible violence or unrest.
“We have received a letter from CIDCO, seeking police bandobast during the demolition of Green Heritage building. We are going to provide our men on Friday and the number of policemen will be increased if the situation takes an ugly turn during demolition activities,” said Kiran Patil, senior police inspector at Kharghar police station.
On the other hand, residents of Green Heritage building have decided to stay put in their homes. “We have told our builder to take proper action and prevent our homes from being demolished, as we bought homes from them, and not CIDCO. The builders will be responsible for whatever happens. We are not going to vacate our homes,” said a resident, who did not wish to be named.
MiD DAY tried to contact office bearers of Navi Mumbai Builders and Developers Association for their comments on the debacle, but none of the officers were willing to give a straight response.
Look before you buy
Here’s how you can prevent facing the trauma that flat owners at Green Heritage are experiencing today. CIDCO officials recommend that buyers file an RTI application with civic agencies to obtain actual copies of the building plans submitted by builders, and then check if the same has been offered on the brochure doled out by the builder.